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NHNE Y2K Report 23
Saturday, April 24, 1999


& Consumer Protection
for Spiritual Seekers"



No, Y2K has not delivered a knock-out punch to human civilization, but OUR WILDLY SUCCESSFUL AUCTION ENDS TOMORROW AT 6PM PDT. If you listen carefully, you can probably hear some of our great products calling your name: "Robert, Barbara, Susan, John, ________ (fill in the blank), bid on me so I can come home to you." Can YOU resist the call? Of course you can't. How many chances are there to buy something you really need or want and, at the same time, contribute to a worthy cause?

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NHNE Y2K Report 23
Saturday, April 24, 1999

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White House Voices Y2K Fears Over Nuclear Plants
Y2K Hotline Logs 100,000 Calls In First Three Months
Science Publishes Bennett's Warnings
Mandela: "Prepare Yourself & Three of Your Friends"
Canadians Getting Tough In the Securities Sector
Canadian Banks Issue Y2K Guarantee
New York City Setting Up Emergency Command Center
Georgia Poised To Get Tough With Y2K Slackers
Minnesota Gov. Ventura: "Be Prepared"
Telecoms Ask State Department for Help In Preparation for Year 2000
U.S. Air Traffic Control Passes 2000 Test
FAA Internal Report: New Radar Not Up to Speed
U.S. Warns Airlines That Insurance Must Cover 2000 Bug
Atlee Going Into "Semi-Retreat"


Reflections on Ed Yourdon's Remarks
Where to Put the Cash
An Excuse to Use Non-Y2K-Compliant Bombs?
A Deeper Issue


Preparedness Plus One


Koskinen Speaks Out
Bennett Softens His Y2K Pessimism
Bogus Numbers
President's Council Hosts Y2K Summit
Latin America Scrambling To Avoid Y2K Disaster
Good News/Bad News From Walton Feed
An Interview with Carla Emery


Furbies Should Keep on Talking In Year 2000
Pessimist Vs. Optimist



This issue sponsored by:


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"In spite of the best efforts of many in government and industry, not every computer will be ready for the Year 2000. There are simply too many computers and many organizations, particularly internationally, have only recently begun to address the problem. The question is how many systems will experience difficulties, how severe will those difficulties be, and what disruptions will they create."

--- The PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON YEAR 2000 CONVERSION, Second Summary of Assessment Information

Link: http://www.y2k.gov/new/FINAL3.htm



(Sources: Ted Bridis, SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL, 4/21/1999)

The White House has expressed its most serious concerns to date over anticipated Year 2000 computer failures overseas, particularly among Russian-designed nuclear plants in nine countries. In its latest report on the technology glitch, President Clinton's top Y2K expert, John Koskinen, said one of his greatest international concerns was ensuring safe operation of 65 such nuclear plants, including one in eastern Russia, not far from Alaska. The report reflects unprecedented pessimism about overseas efforts by the administration, warning that failures in some foreign countries are now all but certain in electric power, telecommunications and transportation networks. Those problems will affect the global economy, Americans living abroad, and are sure to be felt in the U.S. as well. The government intends to begin issuing specific warnings to travelers as early as this summer. (JG)

Link: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/daily/detail/0,1136,11000000000072548,0 0.html


(Source: Jack Gribben, Press Release, THE PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON YEAR 2000 CONVERSION, 4/16/1999)

The Federal Government's free information line on the Year 2000 computer problem, (888) USA-4-Y2K ((888) 872-4925), has received more than 100,000 calls in its first three months of operation. As of April 7, 1999, citizens interested in learning more about the Y2K problem have been made over 107,000 calls to the Y2K hotline, which provides regularly updated Y2K information about common areas such as power, telephones, banking, government programs, and household products. Most start-up Federal information lines take anywhere from six months to one year to log 100,000 calls. Of the information line's pre-recorded messages, which answer the questions of roughly 80 percent of those who call, the most frequently-selected topics are personal preparedness (24 percent), Federal Government Y2K efforts (17 percent), food supply (14 percent) and banking (14 percent). The pre-recorded information is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Information specialists supported by researchers are available to provide additional information to callers from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (EDT), Monday to Friday. (JG)

Link: http://www.y2k.gov/new/0416PRLS.htm



In a rare and unusual move, SCIENCE, the nation's largest general-science journal with 145,000 weekly subscribers, has accepted a contribution to the magazine's "Policy Forum" from a non-scientist: Chairman of the Y2K SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE, Sen. Bob Bennett. His commentary is a "Santa's list" of who's been good and bad in preparing for Jan. 1, 2000. The scariest section says: "The fears of stockpilers and survivalists in some countries are not totally unfounded: There exists the likelihood of regional economic and civil unrest in regions already experiencing political instability, runaway inflation and food and supply shortages." When asked why he thought it was important to be published in Science, he replied, "I want scientists to understand that they, along with the general population, need to be concerned about this." (JG)

Link: http://www.sltrib.com/04161999/utah/98381.htm


7, 1999 SUNDAY SOUTH AFRICA TIMES, 2/7/1999, thanks to Tom Atlee)

On February 7, 1999, the SUNDAY SOUTH AFRICA TIMES ran a full-page ad showing a picture of a very concerned-looking Nelson Mandela saying: "Prepare yourself and three of your friends for what threatens to be the scourge of our achievements, the millennium bug." Below his picture, is a short letter from Mandela and four identical clip-out info sheets about Y2K. The ad was placed by the South African Government's Y2K office, and while it unfortunately says little about community preparedness or the social change implications of Y2K, the image is undeniably compelling.

Tom Atlee has a limited number of copies of the ad, available for $12. He asks that orders be placed only by those who intend to use it to promote Y2K preparedness. (JG)

To order, write: THE CO-INTELLIGENCE INSTITUTE, P.O. Box 21203, Oakland, CA 94620-12.


(Source: THE GLOBE AND MAIL, 4/21/1999)

CANADIAN SECURITIES ADMINISTRATORS (CSA), the council of provincial bodies that regulate the securities sector, is prepared to start taking disciplinary procedures against firms in Canada that aren't complying with Year 2000 reporting requirements. The CSA said some regulators are giving non-compliant firms ten days to file required documents from the publication day of a list identifying those companies. Firms that don't file within ten days could be:

1. Required to notify clients of their failure to file. 2. Restricted from hiring new salespeople or opening new accounts. 3. Prohibited from making payments other than commissions earned on the sale of securities. 4. Required to file monthly financial statements. (JG)

Link: http://www.globetechnology.com/gam/Y2K/19990421/RNEWS-10.html


(Source: Martin Stone, NEWSBYTES, 4/20/1999)

The CANADIAN BANKERS ASSOCIATION (CBA), representing all chartered Canadian banks, says industry efforts to fix the Y2K problem have been so effective that Canadian banks have issued a guarantee that funds and financial records will be unaffected by the millennium bug. "The security of bank accounts and records has never been in doubt," says CANADIAN BANKERS ASSOCIATION (CBA) President and Chief Executive Officer Raymond Protti, "but some Canadians have asked about whether the changeover to Year 2000 would affect bank record technology. This guarantee is the straight answer to what is certainly a legitimate question, given the attention the Y2K issue is getting." The association says Canadian banks are in the final stages of Y2K preparations and are confirming the readiness of their systems by checking their links with other financial institutions and service providers. Each bank regularly reports to various regulatory and government bodies including the OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS. "Getting ready for Y2K has been a priority for the banking industry since 1995. The banks have been updating, testing and verifying their systems to ensure that their customers experience a smooth transition into the new century," Protti said. Since each of Canada's 54 major domestic and foreign banks offers their own individual guarantees, depositors are encouraged to check with their branch to learn exact details. (JG)

CBA's Y2K Program: http://www.cba.ca

Link: http://www.cnnfn.com/digitaljam/newsbytes/129494.html


(Source: James Langton, The Telegraph (London), 4/18/1999)

New York City has joined the ranks of American cities such as Columbus and Los Angeles in setting up a command bunker to cope with a possible breakdown of social order triggered by disasters. The 23rd-floor, 46,000 sq. ft. complex, near the World Trade Center in Manhattan, can house up to 100 of the city's most senior employees and is protected behind a wall of bullet-proof glass. It was built above ground because of the risk of flooding from broken water mains. Mayor Rudi Giuliani ordered the construction of the new control room only last year. While it is designed to deal with any emergency from a terrorist attack to a hurricane, the speed of its construction suggests that New York's planning for possible Y2K chaos is at an advanced stage. The new $12 million emergency command center is "ninety per cent complete but fully operational," and was put to use for the first time during the massive snow storm in February that all but shut down the city. (JG)

Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et?ac=000271261842766&rtmo=ws0Aw5Qb&atmo=9999 9999&pg=/et/99/4/18/wbunk18.html


(Source: ITAA YEAR 2000 OUTLOOK, 3/19/1999)

The Georgia Legislature is nearing passage of a bill which would put a wide array of organizations on the hook to provide Y2K status information, with $1,000-a-day fines for offenders. SB 230 has been passed by the State Senate and a vote is expected shortly in the House. The measure would apply to entities regulated by the GEORGIA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, the ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION DIVISION and the DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES, such as electric utilities and telephone companies, water and wastewater treatment providers, hazardous waste recyclers, health maintenance organizations, nursing homes and hospices. The measure would allow the state to survey these service providers as to their readiness and to impose fines of $1,000 per day for those late in responding; failure of an entity to provide an essential service by not "reasonably and appropriately" planning for the Year 2000 could result in an additional $10,000 fine. A member of the Governor's Y2K CITIZENS TASK FORCE says it's conceivable that Georgians could soon be able to plug zip codes into a web-based form and learn the Y2K status of their local utilities and government services. The task force member says that the state already has surveys and follow-up call centers ready to go. (JG)

Link: http://www.itaa.org/year2000/legis2.htm


(Source: James L. Dunn, Y2KTODAY, 4/20/1999)

Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura said he was borrowing the BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA motto in urging Minnesota families, businesses and agencies to "Be Prepared" for possible century-end computer breakdowns. In addition, Ventura announced an effort called "Y2 OK," in which scouts across the state will be going door-to-door in the coming months to drop off Y2K preparedness cards. The Minnesota governor has named 13 state leaders from business, education and government to a Y2K "Superboard" to help coordinate and provide expertise in Y2K readiness. (JG)

Link: http://www.y2ktoday.com/modules/home/default.asp?id=1294


(Source: Rebecca Blumenstein, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/19/1999)

The nation's telecommunications industry has asked the STATE DEPARTMENT for help in preparing phone networks world-wide for potential Year-2000 disruptions, after a recent FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (FCC) meeting looked into the readiness of the world's phone companies. While most large U.S. phone companies are well prepared for Y2K, there is growing evidence that many smaller phone companies and a number of regions around the world run a "high risk" of problems. "Internationally, it appears that the readiness has worsened," said A. John Pasqua, an AT&T Vice President in charge of the company's Year 2000 program. "There has been a shift of some of these countries from medium to high risk." How other countries are prepared could directly affect the U.S. because the global telecommunications system relies on the interconnection of the networks of many countries. Calls are handed off from one company to another, often without callers realizing it. Any disruption in any of those links could cause problems. With updates from more than 190 countries, the FCC says that Western Europe, North America and the Asia/Pacific region are categorized as low to medium risk; the remaining regions generally face medium to high risk of disruption. The council has asked the State Department and other federal agencies for help in identifying and working with those countries with the worst problems, especially those that have a lot of traffic with the U.S. Most callers within the U.S. likely won't experience disruptions, especially if they use one of the larger phone companies. However, according to the FCC, nearly half of the nation's smaller companies admit having no formal process for preparing for the Year 2000. (JG)

Link: http://www.msnbc.com/news/260478.asp


(Source: Reuters, 4/11/1999)

According to the FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (FAA), the U.S. air traffic control system has passed a crucial test to see if it can cope with the Year 2000 computer problem. On April 10, clocks on backup computers in several air traffic control facilities in Colorado were advanced to just before midnight on Dec. 31 to check that radar, navigation and communications systems would work normally at the end of the year. FAA and airline industry officials taking part in the test said the computers rolled over to 2000 with no obvious errors. "The FAA test should reassure the public that the air traffic control system will be ready for the next century," said Tom Browne, Year 2000 Manager for the AIR TRANSPORT ASSOCIATION that represents airlines carrying over 90 percent of U.S. air traffic. While the FAA was late in starting work on repairing the aging patchwork of computers that run the air traffic control system, the agency promises to have all its systems Y2K-ready by June 30. (JG)

Link: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/ts/story.html?s=v/nm/19990411/ts/y2 k_faa_1.html


(Source: CNN/AP, 4/7/1999)

According to an internal FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (FAA) report on tests conducted in March, a new $1 billion FAA computer system called "Stars," was two to three times slower than existing equipment in displaying aircraft radar positions and responding to air traffic controllers' commands. FAA officials are saying that, until fixed, the new system is unsuitable for use at the nation's busiest airports, where it is needed most. The first elements of the system were to be installed at Washington's Reagan National Airport by March 31, but the FAA announced in February it would not meet that deadline. No new date has been set. Peter Challan, FAA's director of air traffic systems, told the newspaper the agency is working with the manufacturer, RAYTHEON, air traffic controllers and its own engineers to speed up the new computer system. The Stars system is part of a massive technological upgrade underway with the nation's air traffic system. FAA's $1 billion contract with Raytheon calls for upgrading the controller work stations and supporting computers in 173 FAA and 199 DEFENSE DEPARTMENT terminal control facilities, which oversee planes shortly after takeoff or on their initial approach to an airport. The FAA is also in the process of replacing the computers used by controllers in en route centers, which control planes between terminal control facilities. In addition, the agency is developing technology that will allow pilots to use the satellite-based Global Positioning System for pinpoint navigation and more precise landings at an increased number of airports. Each process has been plagued by costly delays. The FAA has vowed to slash the number of planes taking to the air at the end of the year rather than risk mid-air collisions if its computers fail. (JG)

Link: http://cnn.com/US/9904/07/faa.radar.ap/


(Source: REUTERS, 4/20/1999)

The U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (DOT) has warned domestic and foreign airlines that they risked operating illegal flights in the new year if their liability insurance did not cover the Year 2000 computer problem. In a notice to airlines, DOT warned companies that some aviation insurers wished to write into insurance policies a clause that would exclude liability for all damages related to Y2K problems, and that some carriers already may have had similar exclusions written into their policies. "Airlines must carry liability insurance covering all claims resulting from an accident except for exclusions from coverage that DOT has permitted," said the department, which has not approved any Y2K insurance exclusion to date. (JG)

Link: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/tc/story.html?s=v/nm/19990420/tc/yk _faa_9.html


(Source: Tom Atlee, THE CO-INTELLIGENCE INSTITUTE, 4/17/1999)

Popular Y2K analyst Tom Atlee has announced that he is going into semi-retreat for a couple of months to do some focused research and writing. For the last year, he has been pouring his life into innumerable Y2K-related activities -- often working 60-80 hours a week. He expects that by summer, as public concerns about Y2K become more intense, people will increasingly wonder where Y2K came from, what made it happen, and what changes are needed. Out of this will arise the realization that we need to remediate not only our computer code, but our culture as well. Lately, he has found himself called to new Y2K work: "We are moving into what some have called an enormous 'learning moment.' During my engagement with Y2K, I've stumbled into some interesting insights that are compelling, useful, and deeply transformative. I shared some of my thoughts at a public forum in March in Eugene, OR, and was surprised at how interested people were in ideas that only months ago got no response at all. I expect there will be unprecedented opportunities for powerful conversations that could significantly change our society for the better. I want to empower those conversations to make a real difference." Atlee still wants to stay "in the loop" as the Y2K era unfolds, so that what he is thinking and writing remains relevant. He will continue to distribute articles through email and on his website. He can be reached through his assistant, Marcello Lanfranchi <marcello@co-intelligence.org>. (JG)

Link: http://www.cointelligence.org/Y2K.html




"Regarding Ed Yourdon's remarks quoted in 'FEMA Logic' (Y2K Report 21): 'The government actually does understand that things are likely to be far worse than publicly admitted, but has decided that it's not a good idea to say so,' is it not reasonable to speculate that long-standing FEMA emergency store recommendations of two weeks fall within economically-viable parameters only given a certain maximum level of compliance? Since Y2K concerns increase expected popularly-based emergency store plans well past this maximum, the choice of three days reflects:

1. An estimate of economic viability,
2. An estimate of social viability, and possibly,
3. An estimate of how long it might take for relief to arrive in an

"The confusion inherent in corporate/state statements is readily undone when one recognizes that the twin objectives of informing the public of impending danger and forestalling threats to existing social order (euphemistically referred to as 'the need to prevent panic'), often conflict. This multiple personality disorder is nowhere more apparent than in the last two paragraphs of the Executive Summary of the Senate Report released in March, wherein the authors stated both that 'Americans should prepare for Y2K, based on facts and reasonable predictions,' and also that even after the Committee's 'extensive research and...numerous briefings...[it] still cannot conclusively determine how extensive the Y2K disruptions will be.' Indignant sputtering concerning the propriety of treating us, the citizenry, as reasoning adults, deserving of sound and complete information, simply reflects an elementary stage of social awareness. Moving through this quickly to a point of reasonable expectation where officials and their pronouncements are concerned, may well have high survival value in emergencies such as this one now upon us."

--- William Brice Wilson, Valley Year 2000 Center, Sirius Community, Shutesbury, Massachusetts, USA



"Congratulations on an invaluable service -- I have learned a LOT. I've got a question that that bothers a lot of folks: Given that many of us will withdraw cash from bank accounts to cover, say, two months (January - February 2000), my concern is where to put the cash? The relatively large, and sure to grow, 'criminal element' will know that most folks above poverty level will have cash in their house or apartment, and I expect an explosion of serious robberies. After all, a poorly 'defended' middle class residence is easy pickings, and cash is easy to launder, unlike jewelry or electronics. Do you consider traveler's checks safe? What about leaving most of the cash in a safety deposit box, which could be inaccessible if there were a bank closure, or possibly subject to confiscation by the government?"

--- Ken Kaufman, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

[Those of us who plan to take out some extra cash will probably each need to figure out a way to store the cash that feels good to us. Here is Jim Lord's suggestion:

"Don't use a bank safe deposit box for storage. Access might be difficult during banking disruptions. Install a used safe at your home. They don't wear out and cost half as much. Some security experts recommend two safes. Put a cheap decoy in an easy to find location with some cash and important looking papers inside. Put your 'real' safe in a secure location that will take you 20 minutes to get into." -DS

Complete article: http://www.y2ktimebomb.com/Tip/Lord/lord9908.htm]



"On the lighter/darker side of Y2K, I wonder if the NATO bombing in Kosovo is an excuse to use up non-Y2K-compliant bombs? I don't believe it is true, but I have watched too many episodes of 'The X-files,' 'Millennium' and '60 Minutes' to dismiss it out of hand."

--- name withheld, by request



"Excellent article in the latest Special Report (April 8, 1999). I've gone through the same process you mentioned and share almost exactly the same perceptions. Long before I knew about Y2K, I had a vision in deep meditation of a wave of change coming for humanity. Then last December, I went on a four-day visionquest at the winter solstice, fasting and meditating. After three days, I felt I got a very clear vision that, yes, Y2K was to be a big deal and that I should help whomever I could to prepare on all levels. So I dropped everything that was not essential in my life and have been doing lots of public speaking and organizing around Y2K with anyone who is interested. Many groups and individuals have spun off due to these efforts and are now preparing themselves. Every time I speak about it, I feel more strongly that this is the right thing to be doing and I keep having encounters with a growing group of people around this country and other countries who share very similar perceptions and biases. Either a large group of us is deluding ourselves or there is some deeper issue here."

--- Bruce Davidson, Sirius Community, Shutesbury, Massachusetts, USA



By Carole Munson

I've been reading the NHNE site for some time now, and have arrived at some of the same conclusions David Sunfellow has. I too view Y2K as the greatest opportunity in the world to dig down deep and become a better, more loving and resourceful human being. I am associated with Jim Lord, Ed Yourdon, Karen Anderson, Patrick Hogue and many other Y2K and preparedness speakers, and am now speaking to groups around the country with respect to preparing with a calm and deliberate style.

I particularly appreciated David's words regarding Y2K burnout (NHNE Special Report, April 8). We are all feeling it, and it seems to come from the amount of effort we've all given to a public largely waiting for the government to take care of them. It saddens me to see how far we have fallen from the independence, intelligence, discernment and free will which God bestowed upon us.

I see Y2K as a terrific way for God to wake us up with our obvious over-dependence on technology. What better way to take Western civilization down a notch or three? Y2K may have little effect upon the half of the world never having even made a phone call nor purchased a grocery store name brand, but as for the rest of us...we'll see.

My view towards preparedness has changed over the months. We can only help those who are listening, and then we begin praying. By preparing more people in advance, we create more calm, and more prayer and generosity to our fellow man who then reach out to help others. That is my fervent prayer: that each of us takes the physical steps necessary to reach a place of calm about the safety of our loved ones, and then we reach out in a "preparedness plus one" attitude of service to others. In a short time, all of us would be taken care of, and our thoughts could turn to spiritual matters. My conclusion is that by preparing in advance, we do not create panic and fear, but peace and calm and a spirit of interdependence.

Carole Munson
Founder & CEO
Bozeman, Montana, USA



(Source: Scott Johnson, Y2K TODAY, 4/18/1999)

John Koskinen, Chair of the PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON YEAR 2000 CONVERSION, recently assured a Senate panel: "I am confident that any problems with the economy or the American public will not come from the failure of Federal systems," (Y2K Report 22). Here are some edited excerpts from an interview with Koskinen immediately after that hearing that expand on his statement:

"Most of the emergency managers we talk to say, 'We've always been trying to get people to worry about what to do when the power's out, when the phones are out.' So they're delighted to have communities organize and say, 'Okay, whether it's Y2K or whether we get hit by a tornado or an earthquake, what is our plan?' What causes people to overreact is when they don't have information. They figure, 'Nobody cares about this, nobody's worried about it, therefore I have to take care of everything myself.' We've got a website and hotline where we're putting out information. This summer where we're going to try to get every major industry association and their members to participate in real discussions where people can ask their bank or their power company, 'What's your plan look like? What problems did you have? How much money did you budget, and how much have you spent?'"

"People are saying, 'The goods are going to fail, so it doesn't matter what you do locally, because you've got to prepare for the fact that there won't be power anyway.' Based on what we know now, the national systems are going to be all right [and] it looks like there will be power in January. My best advice to people right now is, they ought to be very focused on what's going to happen in their local community."

"I hear people saying, 'Koskinen's overly optimistic.' I keep saying, 'No, I think there are going to be local problems, we have international risks, and we have people who aren't paying attention who are going to create problems.' As we get the good news out about the government and big issues, my concern is that we don't go immediately into complacency. Just because we think we've solved a lot of problems doesn't mean we don't have a lot more work to do. The problem is more subtle than: either the world is ending or everything must be okay."

"My view is not to criticize people who are saying, 'Be prepared.' I disagree with people who say the whole country ought to buy two weeks [of food], but if in a community they say, 'We listened to our guys and they didn't sound smart, so we're recommending two weeks in our community,' I would say, 'Exactly right.' There is no one size fits all. The people who are closest to the problem in a locality are the ones who are going to have the best indication of what the issues are. They're going to know what their supply chain issues are; they'll know what their history is in terms of how the system responds. I think if California decided a week is the right number because they've looked at their circumstances, that's terrific. I would object to people saying, 'Don't have any preparations,' because I think that's stupid."

"At the end of summer, I'm going to advise people that, in your community, if no one's bothered to talk to you, then you may have a reason to say, 'I'm going to make more precautions.' My concern is if you say, 'I don't care what they tell me, I'm going to buy a two-week supply of food and I'm going to take all my money out of the bank.' Unless you have some basis for that, there's a problem. If we get 75 percent of the population doing that, then we'll have our own self-fulfilling prophecy. We'll run out of stuff, we'll have long lines, we'll have people nervous and panicked unnecessarily." (JG)

Link: http://www.y2ktoday.com/modules/home/default.asp?feature=true&id=1300

Koskinen's Good News Links Page: http://www.y2k.gov/text/y2kprog.html


(Source: Matt Thomas, Y2KNET, 4/16/1999)

In a Y2K public forum held in Phoenix, Arizona on April 9, 1999, Senator Robert Bennett, the Y2K Paul Revere of the federal government, stated that his predictions for Y2K had changed dramatically in the last year. Bennett, who chairs the Y2K SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE, currently does not foresee a major national disruption in the U.S. Initially, he had predicted that there was a 40 percent chance of a national power outage. Now that prediction has lowered to less than 10 percent. "That doesn't mean that local companies won't fail," he went on to say, "Somewhere, some power companies will have a problem."

Bennett realized that he could receive criticism for changing his position so drastically, but explained that his initial fear regarding the Y2K problem was caused by the "specter of embedded chips." Early predictions for the failure of embedded chips were 2 to 3 percent, however, he stated that more recent studies show that, "The actual impact on embedded chips will [more in the order of] 0.02 percent."

Despite most utility companies being well on their way to compliance, Bennett emphasized that citizens should still be wary of problems at the local level. "Take charge of your own Y2K future," he repeated five times, referring to the need for the public to investigate the readiness of their individual communities. Bennett also called for the public to not abandon their personal emergency preparation. "Emergency supplies are prudent, regardless of Y2K." (JG)

Link: http://www.y2knet.com/y2k/situation/articles/9903/forum.html


(Source: David O'Daniel Eddy, WESTERGAARD YEAR 2000, 4/14/1999)

Y2K analyst David O'Daniel Eddy is getting increasingly distressed to see more and more reports from companies and governments stating that their Y2K efforts are making good progress, based on such claims as, "65 percent of their mission-critical systems are done and 90 percent or more will be done by July 1999." The following are some edited excerpts from a recent essay:

"Claims of progress by 'percentage completed' is the classic game of learning how to lie publicly. When you need to tell a lie, tell a BIG one. By doing so you then trap your audience into participating. The cold, hard fact about measuring Y2K progress by percentages is that you can't add systems up like boxes of candy in the local 7-11 store. One system may be 10 million lines of code (LoC), while another system may be 50,000 LoC, or worse -- a series of spreadsheets, which simply cannot be counted in LoC at all. Although it's somewhat logical to conclude that the 10 million LoC will be more expensive to repair than the 50,000 LoC, this is not necessarily so -- perhaps the 10 million LoC can be replaced with a standard package, [while] the 50,000 LoC system is in a particularly opaque language like APL, which is virtually impossible for anyone, other than the original author, to decipher."

"What happens with tracking Y2K progress by percentages is that the various functional lines of business in the organization claim they have 'X 'number of systems. These systems -- regardless of size, complexity, cost to repair, or true significance to the viability of the organization as a whole -- are then simply summed up. Marketing has 10 systems; R&D has 5 systems; Manufacturing has 15 systems, and so on. These numbers are then kept in spreadsheets and the all-important percentages are reported and monitored. It enables managers to delude themselves that they're monitoring the situation to three decimal points. That may work fine for tracking market-share numbers on potato chips, but it doesn't work at all for software systems. The ultimate example of such lunacy is when the Air Force blandly tallied the B-2 bomber as one system and the F-16 fighter as 82 systems."

"I cannot determine if these reports are conscious lies, intentional positive propaganda to hide reality, or just plain bureaucratic stupidity. Nowhere is there provided ANY background or supporting evidence as to what they really mean. What is the meaning of 'done'? Done with remediation? Completely tested and successfully back in production? Nowhere is there any discussion of 'mission critical. Personally, I vote for bureaucratic stupidity.'" (JG)

Link: http://y2ktimebomb.com/Techcorner/DE/de9915.htm


(Source: FDIC Y2K News, 4/22/1999)

Bankers, bank regulators, trade associations and other financial services representatives gathered in Washington, D.C. on April 15 to share information on the progress the banking industry is making in meeting the Year 2000 challenge. The summit, the second in a series of three sponsored by the Financial Sector Group of the PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON THE YEAR 2000, centered on contingency planning and bank/customer awareness. Jim Devlin, CITIBANK Vice President and Director of THE YEAR 2000 ENTERPRISE PROJECT OFFICE advised banks to take a practical approach in their planning. "Don't invent new systems to deal with this," he said. "Use the systems that are in place for your business purposes, because this is not so much a technology problem as it is a business problem, with market, liquidity, credit and other issues with which you are already familiar." "Be proactive," added Louis L. Barton, Vice President of Information Systems Planning at FROST NATIONAL BANK in San Antonio. "Don't just wait for customers to ask questions -- reach out and tell them what you're doing and why it's important." The panel agreed that perhaps one of the most important steps is for banks to educate their employees first, since customers often get their information from tellers and other customer service representatives. The next Y2K summit is tentatively set for September 17, 1999.

In related news, FDIC Chairman Donna Tanoue recently told Congress the banking industry continues to make headway in preparing for the Year 2000, "although some financial institutions have experienced delays in meeting...milestone dates [and] it is unrealistic to expect that there will not be any problems." Of 10,379 FDIC-insured institutions, 10,042 (96.8 percent) were rated "satisfactory" as of March 31, Tanoue told the Committee. By June 30, 1999, financial institutions' testing of mission-critical systems and implementation of mission-critical systems should be substantially complete. Tanoue closed by reiterating that "the Year 2000 date change is the highest safety and soundness priority for the FDIC. No insured depositor need worry," she concluded. "The FDIC will protect insured deposits." (JG)

FDIC Website: http://www.fdic.gov/about/y2k


(Source: AP, 4/17/1999)

Latin American governments, with a few exceptions such as Mexico and Chile, are coming realize they lack the time, money and programmers to forestall potentially crippling public sector failures when the Year 2000 arrives. Last year, at precisely the moment when Latin governments should have been investing heavily in Y2K fixes, the Asian financial crisis hit their economies hard. Now there is an almost universal shortness of cash. World Bank experts and independent analysts say Latin and Caribbean governments are left with no alternative other than focus on preventing outright disasters.

Colombia: Mired in perhaps worst recession since 1930s, this country of 40 million is seriously short of funds to address Y2K bug, and the government's Year 2000 Office only just kicked into gear in December. Managers of the state-run health care system are struggling to determine how to keep Y2K failures from scrambling the records of its more than eight million patients. Public hospitals are just beginning to inventory medical devices for bug-related defects. Federal bookkeepers are preparing to switch to paper ledgers until their computers are fixed. Colombian civil aviation officials say their radar systems will fail without repairs worth more than $11 million, money the federal government says it cannot provide. Air traffic controllers are being trained in guiding planes the old-fashioned way -- with radioed position reports and paper charts.

Venezuela: With its oil-based economy suffering from decline in petroleum prices, this country of 23 million expects serious Y2K-related failures. Government planners have given up on trying to fix many computer systems and intend to have 15,000 engineers at the ready on Jan. 1, 2000 -- along with the National Guard and army -- to resolve problems as they arise and keep order, says Alejandro Bermudez, deputy national Y2K coordinator. Most private companies are also way behind schedule, having completed about only 10-20 percent of work on Year 2000 problems. "We're going to have a food-supply shortage," predicts Bermudez. He estimates 40 percent of Venezuela's food-processing plants will be paralyzed when unfixed computer chips in automated factories shut down production lines. Only about 10 percent of Venezuela's electricity distribution system has so far undergone computer fixes, and the government says the country desperately needs $1.5 billion for Y2K fixes, adding that even with that money, repairs will take two to four years.

Guatemala: Scott Robberson, Executive Director of the AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE said his electric company hasn't even started Y2K work, only two of Guatemala's 30 banks are ready, and few buildings in Guatemala City are fixing elevators and time-sensitive computerized building security locks that are vulnerable to failure.

Brazil: Latin America's most populous nation, with 166 million people, is among world's 10 most computerized countries, yet the government expects to spend just $300 million on Y2K projects, one-third of that this year. Marcos Osorio, the national Y2K coordinator, says fixes on the pension and health system are lagging, as are repairs on his country's energy and telecommunications sectors. Brazil's electrical utilities are already "taxed to the limit" and highly susceptible to brownouts. Brazil's chief public data-processing agency, SERPRO, which handles 60 percent of the Brazilian government's data processing, has worked diligently on Y2K but is still short $35 million to finish fixes. SERPRO is struggling to meet the conditions for a $41.5 billion bailout package from the INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND.

Information technology analysts at GARTNERGROUP predict half of all Latin American companies and state agencies in Argentina, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Jamaica, Panama, Puerto Rico and Venezuela will see at least one critical failure -- from power outages to air transport interruptions. Even worse off are Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador and Uruguay. Social unrest and paralyzed commerce are tangible fears. In this part of the world, "the public doesn't protest with phone calls and letters -- it riots and destabilizes the government," said Ian Hugo, Deputy Director of Britain's TASK FORCE 2000. (JG)

Link: http://cnn.com/TECH/computing/9904/17/latam.y2k.ap/index.html

Link: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/ap/technology/story.html?s=v/ap/199 9041 7/tc/y2k_latam_glance_1.html


(Source: Stephen Portela, WALTON FEED, 4/15/1999)

WALTON FEED of Montpelier, Idaho is one of the nation's largest and oldest suppliers of emergency food and products. Here are some edited excerpts from their Website:

"Walton Feed started taking orders for Y2K in March 1997. Each new month has brought a new increase in orders. In the last 18 months, we have more than tripled our personnel, more than quadrupled our floor space, added new packing lines, and are running 24 hours a day, six days a week. Our output has increased several times, and we have doubled production in March 1999 yet again. We are presently driving our facility as fast as it can go. We are going to survive Y2K and are being as wise as we can with our long-term planning."

"It is difficult to estimate accurately how long it will take for deliveries on orders that are placed now. We only know one thing for sure: we are nine months behind at the present time with bucket/bag orders placed to be shipped by UPS. For those wishing to place bucket orders now, your order won't come until NEXT YEAR! However, the new development in our greatly increased production in cans gives real hope that this point is still four to five months in the future for can-only orders. We are presently putting out 2,000 cases of #10 cans a day. If you want to cancel your buckets with us, you can try LEHI MILLS in Lehi, Utah. They don't have the variety we have, but [they DO] have flours and mixes in buckets, decent prices, and are still delivering in 2-3 weeks."

"There is a surplus of food right now because the fall harvest was so good, making it possible for those who have the desire to put a few things away to do so at a good price. For the near term, there just isn't going to be a food shortage here in the U.S. because of underproduction or increased demand. I do not see this forecast of general food availability changing until at least this year's fall harvest. It is true, however, that the availability of some items has been reduced because of Y2K. Hand-operated grinders are a great example, and now the Aladdin lamp can also be included.

"Right now, there seems to be a bit of a slow-down in the food storage industry boom. I expect some of this is because of the successful information/disinformation work being done in the country presently that Y2K isn't going to be as bad as many people forcasted. I also think the war in Eastern Europe has also pulled much of the emphasis away from Y2K."

"From what we can see of the trends developing, as we get closer to Y2K, things are only going to get worse as more people learn about this and decide to do something. The bottom line: we are working as quickly as we can to meet your needs, but at present this just isn't enough."

"Please know that we will continue to do the best we can to get your orders to you within the constraints placed on us by the size of our company. We care about what we are doing and feel we are providing an extremely valuable service. We wish the Lord's blessings to attend you in your preparation efforts during these challenging yet exciting times." (JG)

Walton Feed Home Page: http://waltonfeed.com/

Link: http://www.lis.ab.ca/walton/portela1.html


By Sherry J. Stultz (SJS), NHNE SwiftWing Reporter

Carla Emery (CE) is the author of "The Encyclopedia of Country Living" -- a veritable off-the-grid manual which details everything from how to kill a chicken to homebirthing babies. She is also a Y2K activist who travels the U.S. in a beat-up van urging people to begin Y2K preparations. Our local Y2K group in Ocean Springs, Mississippi was lucky enough to be squeezed into her busy schedule.

Last summer, Carla went to visit her daughter, Sarah, in Seattle. At the time, she had just begun learning about the potential chaos of Y2K-related disruptions and wanted to prepare a "refuge," as she called it, for her children. She urged her daughter to come to stay with her before the next millennium, since a big city wouldn't be the safest place to weather Y2K. But Sarah completely rejected the idea of Y2K preparation as nonsense and told Carla that she never wanted to see her again. Carla received her daughter's decision with a heavy heart and decided the only way to help her was to begin helping everyone else learn about how to prepare for Y2K. She prays that one day someone will tell someone else about Y2K, who will tell another person, who will, in turn speak with friend, and that person will tell Sarah...and maybe then she will believe.

Carla's story intrigued me personally because it paralleled the reasons why I had decided not to move to Sedona, AZ, but to stay in Mississippi: because my family refuses to take Y2K seriously, and the only way I can help them is by helping everyone else in the local area prepare.

Here are some edited excerpts from a conversation I had with Carla after her presentation:

SJS: You mentioned in your talk that Kansas is one of the most organized places you've visited.

CE: Wichita has a number of Y2K activists who have been doing this for a couple of years, and you can really see the difference they have made. The more rural the area, the more people are preparing; the more urban the area, the less people are paying attention. That makes sense, because when urban folk really catch on to Y2K, they soon become rural people. I don't think anybody wants to go through this in the big city.

SJS: As far as preparations go, are we talking in terms of food and water or community gardens?

CE: It probably works best to prepare family by family. I think the community is strongest when you have the strong sense of individual and family responsibility and preparation. If we lose agribusiness, we are going to instantly plunge back into an economy of the 1800s, when it took 85 percent of the people growing food full time to feed a population that was a lot smaller than it is now. Those were people who lived in homes surrounded by tillable lands. They had orchards and domestic animals and they knew what they were doing. Now most people have none of those things. It's going to be really tough, and we are coming into a time when everybody from the governor on down will need to be growing a garden and taking responsibility to contribute to the total food supply.

SJS: What about heat?

CE: The people who are most vulnerable are those who live in the northern plain states. They have very cold winters and no trees. I am suggesting to those people that, going into Y2K, they store fuel for at least two winters and one summer. It does not hurt to have extra fuel, but it could be life-threatening if they don't. I tell them fuel for two winters and a summer, because I want them to take seriously the possibility of a nuclear winter. Back in the 1830s, there was a year when it never stopped snowing in the U.S. They didn't bring in a garden or a hay crop. Eventually people found out that a volcano in Southeast Asia had blown up and tossed so much ash into the atmosphere that it caused a year with no summer. There is significant evidence that, come Y2K, there will be ground-level explosions all over the world. In the U.S. alone, there are approximately 233,000 chemical facilities that have varying degrees of risk for explosions.

SJS: What is your general impression of the level of preparedness in the various groups you meet?

CE: At every talk I give, there is someone in the room who has been preparing for years and someone who hasn't thought about it at all. But it's not too late for them to begin -- they just have to double-time it a little to catch up.

SJS: Best wishes to you, Carla. Everyone here in Ocean Springs hopes we will tell someone who will tell Sarah.

If you would like to have Carla Emery come and speak to your group, contact her at "CarlaEmery@aol.com". Since she doesn't charge for her services, it's always nice to arrange a warm bed and some good food for her.



(Source: Leslie Moriarty, THE DAILY HERALD (Everett, Wash.), 4/5/1999)

Just in case you've been wondering, the Furby you got for Christmas last year is safe from any Y2K problems. "Furbys don't operate on a real-time clock," explained Lana Simon, Director of Public Relations for TIGER ELECTRONICS, maker of the Furby. "We're certain they'll remember their vocabulary and keep on talking." (JG)

Link: http://www.heraldnet.com/Stories/99/4/5/10709474.htm


(Source: U.S. Senator Jon Kyl (R-Arizona, Y2KNET, 4/16/1999)

What is the difference between a pessimist and an optimist?

A pessimist says, "The world is in an awful state and it can't get any worse."

An optimist says, "Yes, it can." (JG)

Link: http://www.y2knet.com/y2k/situation/articles/9903/forum.html



The stories in this week's NHNE Y2K Report were drawn, in part, from the following news sources:




Sheri Nakken (Y2K NETWORK):



Copyright 1999 by NewHeavenNewEarth

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